Thursday, June 1, 2023

Tales of the Traveling Tote #35

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Tote, Edition #35

I recently found myself out of town 
for the first time since before October 2019.  
Miss Merri Mac and I rode the Vonlane
leaving before sunrise, and arriving Dallas by 9am.
We hit the ground running!

 I felt like a bird out of a cage! 

Quimper Club International has met yearly since 1999, with the
exception of 2021 and 2022 because of COVID.  Two previous QCI meetings were held in Dallas in 2002 and 2009, and this year we enjoyed three days packed full of friendship and fun. 
Thank you to the Dallas girls that made this meeting possible.
Antique Shopping ~ Harlan Crow Library ~
Five Home Tours ~ Annual Meeting and Lunch

Each morning Miss Merri Mac and I started the day 
with a stroll to Starbucks for a morning coffee and a bite to eat.

Shopping at Snider Plaza Antiques and 

Lunch at a favorite restaurant!

Harlan Crow Library
Our group was given a private tour of the 
Harlan Crow Library, hosted by Sam Fore, Library Curator.  
The library, home to Mr. Crow's impressive Americana collection of rare books, historic documents, manuscripts, and artifacts also includes sculpture and 18th and 19th century portraiture paintings.  
In addition, the art collection includes paintings by Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.

On Saturday, five Dallas members graciously invited members 
to enjoy the ambience of their exquisite collections while touring their homes.  
I wish my readers could experience these homes, each one beautifully appointed and curated. 
Not only did we see exceptional French faience, these women live with other charming collections.

Just a small sampling of some of the treasures we saw.

Sunday morning our group wrapped up the weekend with a 
business meeting, guest speakers, and farewell lunch.

I had the privilege of speaking on Napoleon, and the joy 
I've had over past decades curating a small collection of 
Napoleonic Souvenirs produced by faienceries in France.

The highlight of the morning was M. Esquerré, an entertaining French gentleman, who shared his personal story of success. 
M. Patrick Esquerré, of La Madeleine French Country Cafes
grew up living in a chateau on a farm in the Loire Valley.  
A successful entrepreneur in marketing and public relations, Esquerré established his own company, Dialoguer, while living in Paris.  A new business venture in the early 1980s brought him to America with a plan to bring foreign rodeos to the US market.  That did not work out, so he turned his astute entrepreneurial and culinary skills toward building a authentic French bakery in Dallas, Texas.  
As they say, the rest is history! 

Thank you for letting me share my little get away.
Miss Merri Mac and I wish you a summer of travel adventures.
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart!"

Congratulations to Gina @ It's Just Me, Gina
the winner of our Glow Giveaway.

Before you head off to visit my friends below,
be certain to leave a comment to be entered in our giveaway. 
Don't forget to include your name and web address.
Enjoy the adventures of my Traveling Tote Friends 

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul (You are here)

Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader 

Jackie @ Purple Chocolat Home

Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. How wonderful you were able to get away and visit with your Quimper friends Sarah! It does sound like an action packed few days. I’m drooling over the majolica and tablesetting in your shopping collage. I would have loved to hear your talk on your Napoleonic pieces. I always enjoy seeing your collections and I know you must have been equally enamored by touring the homes for your fellow members and seeing theirs. Happy June ♥

  2. What a fun trip to meet with your fellow collectors! I have to go back and look more closer to your collaged photos - what special pieces.....and I didn't know your Napolean collection! So interesting. Happy to hear you enjoyed your getaway! Happy Summer!

  3. I'm happy you went to the Quimper meeting. The planned events look like they were tailor-made for you. The gorgeous majolica caught my eye, especially with the strawberries. I have sorority sisters who collect it because strawberries are a symbol for our sorority. Is your talk on YouTube by any chance? I would love to hear it. I had no idea about your lovely Napoleonic collection. :D I would have enjoyed the home tours. Did you have a favorite house, or maybe a favorite collection you saw?

  4. Just perfect for you.Kindred spirits meeting after a long hiatus.Your smiling face says it all..What a collection your Napoleonic one..apart from all others:)

  5. What a fun spring!!

  6. Oh Sarah, how wonderful you attended the QCI meeting in Dallas! I know it was such fun touring the beautiful homes and seeing the faience collections. I loved seeing a peek at your collection of all things Napoleon. Happy summer......

  7. I'm so glad you enjoyed your first getaway in so long! I know you enjoyed seeing all your Quimper Club friends and attending all the fun events. I am impressed that you spoke at the meeting, I didn't know about your Napoleonic collection, the pieces look wonderful. I know Sadie was happy when you returned home! Have a wonderful Summer Sarah!

  8. Sarah, I am thrilled you got away to meet with your fellow Quimper group. How lovely you spoke about the Napoleonic collection. I will go back and check out each photo in your collage. Yummy coffee and great food says it all. Enjoy a lovely summer Sarah.❤️

  9. Sarah, I am so happy for you that you were able to meet with friends that share your love of French faience. It is so good to be back with friends and meet new friends along the way. Your beautiful smile says it all. I would have so enjoyed your talk on your Napoleonic collection. Each collage has so many interesting items, I love the majolica! I hope you have a fabulous summer♥️

  10. Dallas has so much going for it - I have family there and should visit soon! Love your tote (:

  11. Fantastic, Sarah! I was enlarging all your photos so I could see all the lovely details! The dancing couple on the plate among the collage, the fox, your majolica plate with squirrel (I hope you bought that!), the table setting in the shop, and the library with all its history! I love all the details! I hope you enjoyed your maiden voyage back into getting out and about. It looked like the perfect weekend. And I'm certain your presentation on Napoleon (and Josephine) was well received. Thank you for sharing your Quimper weekend!

  12. Good Morning dear Sarah - such a lovely colorful post and wonderful knowing you were able to get away and join up with old friends and acquaintances after a long break.
    Hope this summer will be a special one and and life, now just about back to normal, will be full of happy days. I'm off today - a 40 mins. drive - to meet up with my lovely friend Vanessa - you may recall our special days of 'treasure hunting' and sharing the booth at SuzAnna's Antiques. She moved to Calif. for a while but thankfully is back and we still enjoy trolling the stores looking for special things!
    Hope all well in Austin - think of you often.
    Hugs - Mary xx

  13. How fascinating Sarah! I am so happy for you that you were able to meet with friends that share your love of French faience. Maybe if our tote group has an MC get together, you will share some info on your Napoleonic collection. I hope you have a nice summer. Joe and I are Switzerland/Italy bound on Monday for two weeks.

  14. Delightful and informative post! I have followed your blog for a long time and was excited to see this one. Thank you for sharing. Jan H.

  15. Oh Sarah, how fun is this! Learned a lot and wish I had been there too. Did I tell you I made a Quimper purchase recently at an antique mall? It was a gorgeous egg cup and I love it -- currently on display with my few pieces (thanks to you!). It's hard to come by here, I think. The convention sounds great and he sounds like a fascinating speaker.

  16. What a fabulous trip you had to Dallas, Sarah! I bet you were thrilled to have a fantastic getaway. How nice that you were a speaker and that you got to meet the founder of La Madeleine! Rise is one of my favorite places and they’re opening another location which will be closer to me. I look beautiful and stylish as always. ❤️

  17. What a delightful read! Your blog post "Tales of Traveling Tote 3.5" took me on a captivating journey, weaving together the essence of adventure, frugality, and wanderlust.


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